no-self or no fixed-self?

This is a read-only part of the forum. All threads where seeing happens are stored here and come from this forum, the Facebook guiding area and various LU blogs. The complete list, sorted by guide, contains all links. The archives include threads of those that came to LU already seeing as well.
User avatar
kleinzeit
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:29 am

no-self or no fixed-self?

Postby kleinzeit » Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:11 pm

If the self does not exist, who or what is writing this? Somebody or something seems to be! If the self is not fixed (i.e. it is made up of changing parts, and is finite in time and space), then it can still write these words. Does the distincion matter? It seems important to acknowledge the unfixed nature of self - without doing that I suppose I could never admit (deep down) that I will die, which I need to do in order to be in line with fact, and to make the most of the life available. But to say that the self doesn't exist at all? I'm not sure that's helpful. Suggestions anyone?

User avatar
Canfora
Posts: 3860
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 2:58 pm

Re: no-self or no fixed-self?

Postby Canfora » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:06 am

Hi, kleinzeit.

Is a self needed to do the writing? Writing is just happening. All life is just happening in a flow.

You’re describing your thoughts. Do you really want to see if the I/self does not exist? If you do, your thoughts can’t help you here. You will need to look directly to your experience.

Are you willing to engage yourself 100% with this process? What are your expectations?

User avatar
kleinzeit
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:29 am

Re: no-self or no fixed-self?

Postby kleinzeit » Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:10 pm

Hello Canfora

That's a fair point about thought - I appreciate that it doesn't get me anywhere with this stuff, and I spend a lot of time with my experience as a result. My experience (currently) is that there is a "consciousness" which is able to distil things like thoughts, feelings and choices out of experience, and see them as "not me", but I'm still stuck with the consciouness - a kind of discriminating awareness which feels like I am it. There is a feeling that this is no more real that feeling or thought, but I can't see behind it, through it, 'round it to tell for sure. It seems too central to my experience.

I'm keen to engage in this process, certainly one email a day is well do-able, and the guidelines about no speculation/rationalisation make sense. I have no expectations, beyond the unfolding of a conversation. It will be what it will be.

Thanx for commenting.

:-)

User avatar
Canfora
Posts: 3860
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 2:58 pm

Re: no-self or no fixed-self?

Postby Canfora » Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:46 pm

Good, kleinzeit. I just ask you to look to your reality with fresh eyes and answer from your experience, not for what you have learned. And be 100% honest. I can handle it :)
there is a "consciousness" which is able to distil things like thoughts, feelings and choices out of experience, and see them as "not me", but I'm still stuck with the consciouness - a kind of discriminating awareness which feels like I am it.
When you talk about a “consciousness” I think you are pointing to what I would call in this moment “the simple feeling of being alive”. That feeling is very real and in my experience is just here, like a thought, a sensation, the typing, the computer, the fingers… Reality.

If you look at this "consciousness", is it really the self/I? Why?
There is a feeling that this is no more real that feeling or thought
So let’s start looking to what’s real v. what’s not real.

Here’s your first exercise:

write for 10 minutes, in a fluid way, about what’s happening in your reality.

Ex: “I’m typing because Canfora asked me to do it. It’s boring but maybe I will learn something from this.”.

Then write for another 10 minutes without using the words I, me, self, and just telling what is happening without the comments of the mind:

Ex: typing, back pain, scratching a itch, looking at wall, moving in chair.

I would love to see what you write and your comments about this exercice - how did it go, what did you find, which is the way of reporting your reality that seems truer...

Warning: this site often logs you out while you write a reply and you can lose what you have written. I suggest you write elsewhere, then just paste the message into the 'reply' window when you're ready to send.

Thanks for being here :) And try to have fun with the exercice. Your looking at the way mind works!

User avatar
kleinzeit
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:29 am

Re: no-self or no fixed-self?

Postby kleinzeit » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:25 pm

The first ten minutes; what is happening in my reality.

I am a bit tired, and full of dinner. It is a little cold. The extractor fan in the next room is running, I can hear it. I also hear a little background noise of my head, or my ears. My right index finger feels like it has been typing a lot today. I feel the wood of the bed against my calf muscle, and the power lead of the laptop on my shin. I see my wall, a few pictures. The light here is a little yellow. I have a slight itch on my left arm, near the top. I feel a bit excited to have started this adventure. There is a piece of grit under my right hand as it grazes the laptop, and the laptop fan comes on briefly – I hear it. The laptop is warm on my knees. My neck aches slightly. I can hear birds outside. My head feels a little dull – my upper body feels a little cold. My head feels empty – I feel myself frown. Like an itch in the front of my head. The air seems cool in my nose. My right hand feels a little clammy. I scratch my face, and hear the noise of that inside my head. I see my clock, it doesn't seem to move. My right thumb is a bit stiff. My stomach feels full. My breath is suddenly loud in my nose. 10 minutes is up.

The second ten minutes; what is happening – no words “I, me, self”.

Heartbeat in stomach, click of computer keys, finger against thumb skin texture, breath in and out, partridge outside making a noise, see guitar leaning against wall, cursor flashing, see cushion, feel blanket, feel neck creak slightly, warm laptop under side of hand, stomach full, light in room, background noise in head, see postcard of Venus and box of letters, mouth opens and air on roof of mouth, delete, scratch chin, see veins on hand, feel cushion against back, screen seems bright, nod head and feel hair move, itch in right ear, scratch, swallow, move feet, feel power lead against left shin, extractor fan in next room stops, birds sing, nose itches, scratch, feel sleepy, interested in something, quiet, cursor flashes, hands tap keys, waiting, stomach full, turn head to look at clock, see “packard bell” written, hear footsteps, 10 minutes is up.

This exercise was strange the second time around – there were experiences that I could not describe in words; particularly the sound in my head when there was no other sound. It was easier to notice this when I was just describing experience, rather than attaching experiences to a person.

Thanks.

K

User avatar
kleinzeit
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:29 am

Re: no-self or no fixed-self?

Postby kleinzeit » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:45 pm

Hi Canfora. Sleep approaches. I realise that I didn't attempt to say which way of describing felt truer. This seems like a difficult question; both felt true, but perhaps the first way of doing it was "embelished"; it included some interpretation of experience in order to make a narrative. The second way of doing it became a list, and my memory of it was that for longer times I would not be writing at all - just sitting waiting for an experience to arise in consciousness(?) so that I could write it down. In both cases I was watching experience in order to have something to write, which looking back on it seems like I was cheating or something - I have a feeling that I missed something?

Anyway, good night and thank you.

K

User avatar
Canfora
Posts: 3860
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 2:58 pm

Re: no-self or no fixed-self?

Postby Canfora » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:28 am

Good morning K!
I have a feeling that I missed something?
You didn’t miss anything; you did what I told you perfectly.
This seems like a difficult question; both felt true, but perhaps the first way of doing it was "embelished";
I can see why both ways of looking seem true. You kept very close to your experience of the moment in both.
It was easier to notice this when I was just describing experience, rather than attaching experiences to a person.
yes!

Some thoughts about this exercise:

- When you used the first “glasses” "I gave you" the I character was there; with the second “glasses” on there was only raw experiencing;

- With the I “glasses” you can see how thought labels reality: “I am a bit tired and full of dinner”. Tiredness was happening, fullness was felt. You’re way of describing implies a little story that is happening to the character I;

- Without the I “glasses” the character kleinzeit isn’t there. Just what is happening - hearing, seeing, touching,... sensations in the body. And less thoughts… more space… more seeing… Less attaching as you said.

- You can keep experiencing with the two "pair of glasses" in your everyday life. No special conditions needed. See the way the I “glasses” can change your perspective of events and also your reactions to them.


In my second post I asked:

If you look at this "consciousness", is it really the self/I? Why?

Put your “second glasses”, look at what’s here, right now, and answer :)

________________________________________________________________________________________________

If needed you can see how to use the quote function here: http://liberationunleashed.com/nation/v ... ?f=4&t=660

You might find it helpful to click the 'subscribe topic' link at the bottom of the page, so you know when I post a reply.

User avatar
kleinzeit
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:29 am

Re: no-self or no fixed-self?

Postby kleinzeit » Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:45 pm

If you look at this "consciousness", is it really the self/I? Why?
Hi Canfora.

So, if I "put on" the "not I" glasses, and look at my discriminating awareness, I can't see it at all. It actually isn't there. There are thoughts and feelings, but no discrimination at all. No, maybe that's not true - it's more like I don't need it, because it's function is to free me from being ruled by feelings and ideas (which works well as far as I can tell, certainly in cases where feelings and thoughts are mild). If I experience things without the add-on of self, then I don't need to discern a difference between "me" and an experience - it is alreay there.

This was a really difficult exercise to describe!

I could do with some clarification; Are you guiding me? If the answer is "yes" then great, thank you. If the answer is "no" (or something else) then please will you?

Thanks for your attention thus far, anyway.

Kleinzeit.

User avatar
kleinzeit
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:29 am

Re: no-self or no fixed-self?

Postby kleinzeit » Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:46 pm

I have subscribed to the topic. :-)

User avatar
Canfora
Posts: 3860
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 2:58 pm

Re: no-self or no fixed-self?

Postby Canfora » Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:53 pm

Hi, Kleinzeit. Yes, I’m guiding you. Not teaching you. And it’s my pleasure; believe me on that and on nothing more - this is your process, I just do the pointing and you do the seeing :)
So, if I "put on" the "not I" glasses, and look at my discriminating awareness, I can't see it at all. It actually isn't there.
Yes! It's the same for me. When I look at my reality with my "not I" glasses I can't see awareness at all and I can't find a separate I. I just find thoughts, sensations, parts of a body, feelings, all arising without the need of an I. Keep seeing if this is also true for you.
There are thoughts and feelings, but no discrimination at all.
Yes, there’s just what’s here.
No, maybe that's not true - it's more like I don't need it, because it's function is to free me from being ruled by feelings and ideas (which works well as far as I can tell, certainly in cases where feelings and thoughts are mild).
I can also use some clarification, what do you mean by this?
If I experience things without the add-on of self, then I don't need to discern a difference between "me" and an experience - it is already there.
What is there? What do you mean when you talk about the difference between "me" and an experience? Can you find a “me” looking at your experience? What is this "me"?
This was a really difficult exercise to describe!
You're labelling that experience. "difficult" is just a thought/label that covers what's real. Can you tell me what happens when you believe that a label is real? Like "me", "I", "consciousness"?

Thanks for the thanks :)

User avatar
kleinzeit
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:29 am

Re: no-self or no fixed-self?

Postby kleinzeit » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:33 am

Hi Canfora. When I said [quote][/quote]No, maybe that's not true - it's more like I don't need it, because it's function is to free me from being ruled by feelings and ideas (which works well as far as I can tell, certainly in cases where feelings and thoughts are mild). I was trying to get around a feeling that my initial description was unsatisfying to me.

I have had some success over the years in separating myself from thoughts and feelings (and preferences) to the extent that "I" am not ruled by them - I can observe them and then make a decision about how to respond. But, this doesn't work for consciousness (what I call discriminating awareness, I think they are the same thing probably). I feel that "my self" is in my consciousness, in a sense it is the consciousness which does the deciding and the responding. What happened in the exercise was that my consciouness seemed to cease to exist - thought that isn't quite the right wording. I'm not aware of it all the time, not in the way in which I can easily identify what I'm feeling of thinking at any moment.

What is there? I don't know! I don't know what I mean when I talk about the difference between "me" and "experience". Consciousness does the experienceing maybe? I don't know.

Kleinzeit

User avatar
Canfora
Posts: 3860
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 2:58 pm

Re: no-self or no fixed-self?

Postby Canfora » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:18 am

Hi, Kleinzeit.
I was trying to get around a feeling that my initial description was unsatisfying to me.
You're still trying to see with your thoughts and that's OK. Just don't forget to always stick to your experience and to ask yourself if what you are thinking is something you learned or something that you can realy see.
I feel that "my self" is in my consciousness, in a sense it is the consciousness which does the deciding and the responding.
You feel but is it true? A thought - "I feel that "my self" is in my consciousness" is just another thought. Is there a thinker? Look behind thinking. Are you doing it?
I have had some success over the years in separating myself from thoughts and feelings (and preferences) to the extent that "I" am not ruled by them - I can observe them and then make a decision about how to respond.
Raise your left hand above your head. Do it now.
How did that happen? What was that made the choice to do it? Is it possible that the choice was already made and thought came in later?

There are decisions and choices happening during this day. "Put on" your "not I" glasses and look to how this works. Tell me what you see.

User avatar
kleinzeit
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:29 am

Re: no-self or no fixed-self?

Postby kleinzeit » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:47 pm

Hi Canfora - I like the distinction between
something I've learned or something that I can realy see
. I shall consider this further.

All of my feelings and thoughts are "true" in the sense that they exist. I don't require them to have any greater truth - maybe I'm missing something, but I don't have the sense that "I" feel or "think" anything. What "I" do is sift experience.

The lifting the arm experiment was a good example. I read the words, there was a short dialogue, then I lifted my arm. It is entirely possible that "thoughts" about lifting my arm were quite peripheral to the process, even a result rather than a cause. The sifting process was is analagous to thought I think, in this example.

I will observe choices and decisions today with "not I" glasses on and see what happens.

:-)

User avatar
kleinzeit
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:29 am

Re: no-self or no fixed-self?

Postby kleinzeit » Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:20 pm

Hi Canfora
It's incredibly difficult to mintain "No I" glasses when there's stuff to do. Much easier when there's nothing happening and no other people about. I plan to set aside half an hour a day to practice this. One concern I have is that I seem to just get into consciously listing what's happening; bird singing, branch brushes arm, air is cool. This naming (labeling) process seems more like a learning product than an experience.
Kleinzeit

User avatar
Canfora
Posts: 3860
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 2:58 pm

Re: no-self or no fixed-self?

Postby Canfora » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:24 pm

Hi, Kleinzeit!
I like the distinction between something I've learned or something that I can realy see. I shall consider this further.
I call you and say: “I made a chocolate cake. It looks really good! It turned out big and fluffy and tastes really well.”

Then I go to your house and proudly give you the cake. And what happens in your experience? The seeing of the cake, the smelling of the cake, the touching of the cake and even the tasting of the cake!

What is more real?
What I told you about the cake or the experiencing of the cake?
The story about the cake that appears in your mind or the tasting of the cake?
All of my feelings and thoughts are "true" in the sense that they exist.
Yes, absolutly. Feelings and thoughts are real. They exist.
The lifting the arm experiment was a good example. I read the words, there was a short dialogue, then I lifted my arm. It is entirely possible that "thoughts" about lifting my arm were quite peripheral to the process, even a result rather than a cause. The sifting process was is analagous to thought I think, in this example.

I will observe choices and decisions today with "not I" glasses on and see what happens.

Good observations, Kleinzeit, keep looking and seeing how choices/decisions are happening in your life.

I can see that you are with your "not I" glasses over your nose. Let's make a seeing exercise that's going to help you get used to them.

See your thoughts coming and give them a good look. Please answer all my questions, one by one:

Where do thoughts come from?
Can you stop a thought from appearing?
Can you stop a thought in the middle?
Do you know what the next thought will be?
Are you in control of them?
Is I a different thought than the thought cake?
Can a thought think?

Don't overthink this. Just tell me what you see :)


Return to “ARCHIVES”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests